Friday, June 14, 2013


Eastside Road, June 14, 2013—
THERE IS A WAY, I know, that I can easily figure out when we last had polenta for dinner — that's one reason for keeping this blog. (Unless it was within the last few unaccounted days, when I was walking the slopes of Whitney, and eating in the wilds of Reno and environs.)

But I am not going to bother, not at the moment. Too many other things to think about, as you'll find next week.

In any case, it was polenta tonight, polenta with the tomato sauce we had on penne last night. The tomatoes came from the freezer, the last, I think, from last summer's markets. When did we buy this polenta?

When did we first buy polenta? I recall corn meal mush from my childhood, but it never had the dried-corn flavor this polenta has, whether because of my mother's cooking or, more likely, the source of the corn meal itself.

In the course of cleaning up my desk today I ran across a spiral-bound notebook, no more than three by four inches in size, from the 1970s, kept while we were making one of our first tours of northern Italy. There on one page, in an unfamiliar hand, was a scrawled bill of sale from a vendor, I remember him, in the Milan flea market: one paiolo, ₤ 8000. I don't recall what 8000 lire was in those days: not much. We don't use the paiolo for polenta these days — at least, Cook doesn't. I do, occasionally. It's a beautiful copper pot with an iron bail handle, and before use you have to rinse it with vinegar and salt. I'll do that, maybe once every five years. But as usual I digress.
Primitivo, Grifone, 2011

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